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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Tomato Toast with Garlic Basil Cream Cheese

In the summertime I find myself dreaming about caprese salad literally every week.  I can't get enough.  Summer is when tomatoes are at their best and the simple salad is a perfect way to show off how delicious they can be.  Because I can't eat a caprese every week (I mean I could...I shouldn't) I was hoping to find other ways to highlight how great a fresh summer tomato is.  Simplicity is best in these situations because the point is to showcase, not distract.  This recipe for tomato toast with garlic basil cream cheese is a great way to get some fresh 'maters in your belly and to do so at breakfast time, the one part of the day that seems a tad innappropriate for caprese (again, I could eat caprese at 8 am...I just shouldn't).

This is the kind of breakfast that only takes 5-10 minutes to make; however, I recommend you take 20.  The extra 10 minutes should be reserved for salting your tomato slices and letting them sit to draw out the water.  I didn't do this because I was in a rush, but it would have made the dish mush better.  Do it while you're drying your hair or something; it's not like you have to stare at them while they're salting.  Another tip: the garlic isn't getting cooked so a little goes a long way.  You WILL taste and breathe the garlic so be prepared.  I used just under half a clove for about 3 oz of cream cheese and it was strong.  Not overpowering, but it was certainly detectable.  If you're planning to make a larger batch of the cream cheese to use throughout the week, just remember that as the garlic sits the flavor will become stronger so adjust accordingly.

If you're a bagel and cream cheese person, this is a great alternative that will will satisfy you without weighing you down.  Bagels are usually too heavy for me during the week.  If you're a big fan of Italian food, the main flavors here are tomato, basil, and garlic so I guarantee you'll be happy.    

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